ELKIN — Last week, members of the 2014 Hugh Chatham Leadership class had a chance to hear about the services available at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital for those battling cancer. Leadership class participants were also the first to learn about a move that the oncology office will soon be making.
During the presentation, medical oncologist and hematologist Dr. Carol Albright spoke about how much she loved her job, but said they had very limited space in the office at Johnson Ridge Medical Park. Though an official date has not been set, Albright said she was excited about a move they would be making soon to a larger space at Claremont Medical Park on Eldon Parks Drive.
“I have one of the best jobs in the whole world, my patients are the best patients there are,” Albright said. “I just have incredible patients. They are so giving. They just give us so much. They have so much strength. It’s just amazing to be able to work with them every day, despite all the things they are going through they still come in and smile and make jokes and have a good quality of life.”
Albright spoke briefly about her own path to the medical field and how she waited until later in life, when her children were in school, to begin her own educational studies to become a doctor. She received a laugh from the group when she said, “It takes a while to get here, so if any of you are thinking about it, you need to start now.”
She described the services provided by her office and discussed briefly some newer treatment options for cancer, which includes a pill form of chemotherapy for some cancers.
Albright also had high praise for her staff, her fellow doctors, administrative staff and nurses who always put the patient first.
“From the time they walk in to the clinic, the patient is the most important thing that we have to do that day,” Albright said.
Dr. Greg Fiets, radiation oncologist, also spoke to the group. Fiets has been a part of the Regional Cancer Center staff for eight years. Fiets talked about how radiation cancer treatment is a technology driven field.
“It requires constantly upgrading and changing equipment,” Fiets explained. “We continually upgrade all of our computers and software involved with treatment planning which is a really big part of what we do. This facility has continued to modernize all along and we are right where we want to be in that regard.”
Fiets also discussed briefly how radiation works and what types of cancers it can be used to treat.
He noted that the radiation oncology center recently became accredited by the American College of Radiology, which involved a very rigorous six-month evaluation process.
For more information about the cancer center at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, visit www.hughchatham.org/services-cancer.aspx.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.